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Used car of the week: Volvo XC90

  • Large SUV that makes great family transport
  • Get three child seats in the middle row
  • Our favourite Approved Used models available from Β£12,500
Words By Matthew Burrow

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Ideal model 2.4 D5 SE Lux
Prices from Β£12,500

Why should I buy a used XC90?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Volvo XC90 has been on sale since 2002 and it's only just being replaced. Volvo got it right first time when it created this spacious, practical and safe large SUV.

The XC90 is great car for families. There are many models to choose from on the used market and they offer great value for money. They're four-wheel-drive seven-seaters that can tow 2250kg, meaning that they're incredibly capable cars.

Family buyers will love that they can fit three child seats across the middle row - the only car in the class that can - and that the two rearmost seats disappear into the floor when not in use.

Which model should I choose?

Our pick of the range is the 2.5 D5 SE Lux. It offers the best mix of equipment, power and running costs.

The diesel engine is powerful enough to cope with the the XC90's size and fuel economy is rated at 34.4mpg, which is not astounding but also not terrible for this type of car.

Equipment-wise, all XC90s have climate and cruise controls, a CD player and alloy wheels. Our preferred SE Lux trim adds to that with full leather seats, Bluetooth and sat-nav.

How much should I pay?

If you look around, you can find an early model in SE trim with more than 100,000 miles on the clock for less than Β£9000.

To get our pick of the range you'll need to spend more than Β£12,500, which will get you a 2008 car with around 90,000 miles on the clock.

For a '10/60 2.4 D5 SE Lux with a more reasonable 49,000 miles on the clock, you'll be looking to spend around Β£20,000.

What problems should I look out for?

Some XC90s leaked power steering fluid. The cars were recalled so check that the repair work has been carried out.

Another recall was to fix the ABS system which could activate when not needed. That work should also have been done.

The diesel injectors are known to cause issues and can be expensive to fix. If the car has trouble starting, look elsewhere.

Noises from the dashboard could indicate the car has been in an accident. Listen out for those on a test drive.

The rear parking sensors can fail and cost about Β£300 to repair. Make sure these work.

Head to What Car?'s Approved Used section to find Volvo XC90s for sale.